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July 12th, 2011
11:34 AM ET

Bill Maher explains his 'apatheism,' apathetic atheism

Comedian Bill Maher sits down with Piers Morgan to talk about growing up Catholic and becoming an "apatheist," an apathetic atheist who just doesn't think much about religion.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Content Partner

soundoff (1,340 Responses)
  1. ken

    True religion is personal. You believe what you choose to inherently set your own mind at ease and to define for yourself how the world works. Organized religion is for the community and regardless of the type is about sharing your beliefs with others that feel as you do. Unfortunately all religions have been used to oppress the masses regardless of the source (islam, christianity, Hindu) you name it. All of them have been used as an excuse for why mankind performs an essential basic function of nature – the maintaining of an acceptable level of humans in nature. When two ant communities grow large enough for their colonies to cross they goto war with one another. Humans are no different than any other animal on this planet. Resources are finite even if they are cyclical (food grows every year but is it enough for everyone?) So religion is used to keep base nature and instinct at bay and as an excuse for why we do the things we do.

    July 12, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  2. a

    Ah...it's so easy to not believe in God. To not believe in an eternal purpose. It's easy to not have to worry about anything significant. I think you atheists have just about convinced me with these insightful "religion is stupid" comments. Now all I have to worry about is my short meaningless mortal life and then fading into the dark abyss of nothingness. mmmm...sounds nice. Thanks atheism!

    July 12, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • 7od

      eternal purpose? what is the purpose once your in heaven? what is gods purpose?

      July 12, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Reality sucks don't it!

      But it is reality none the less.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Eric

      Imagine you have two men. One has only $100. The other is a multi-billionaire. Which man will treasure the things he buys more greatly? Which one will appreciate eating a decent meal the most? If all you have is a relatively short 80 years or so in which to enjoy life, as opposed to an infinite number of years, you will treasure this time less? Hint: how many atheist suicide bombers have their been in the last, oh, say 30 years or so?

      July 12, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Laughing

      @ a

      You're so right, it's a lot easier to think critically and use my brain to apply meaning to my life instead of just sitting back and letting god do all the heavy lifting for me, at least I have an eternal purpose (don't know what it is, but god knows so that's good), phew! Being a christian (or believer for that matter) is just so HARD!

      Wait.....did I get those mixed up?

      July 12, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      a, there's nothing on this planet worthy of worship and veneration except human beings. I believe in them, not in The Supreme Deity. Humans demonstrate the existence of invisible abstract forces all the time, like Love or Patriotism or Friendship.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • a

      You guys are preaching to choir (Ha ha...oops. No pun intended) I'm converted! I have closed my mind to the possibilities!

      July 12, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • EZRA

      Hmm, I don't find my life meaningless. Why do you think your's is?

      July 12, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  3. Richard Aberdeen

    Correction to previous post. What it should say is that "what people believe about God DOESN'T alter God, any more than what people believe about evolution alters how life functions" – the word "doesn't" was left out by mistake.

    July 12, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  4. Phil Hamilton

    What? Ignoring the idea that this guy is a comedian, religion is all I've ever seen him talk about. "Apathy" doesn't seem to quite fit the bill when talking about religion (or lack there of) consumes your entire life.

    July 12, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Richard Aberdeen

      I think "apathy" on the part of Maher applies to how he approaches the study of history, science and evidence, what apparently he has done little research regarding any of these three.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Lettuce Prey

      Phil and Richard, did either of you watch the video? Maher's apathy is due to how he feels about whether or not there actually is a supreme being, not religions themselves. His anti-religious leanings are probably a direct result to so many religious fanatics wanting to legislate how we behave, to control us. I'm an atheist, but the only times I take exception to another person's beliefs is 1) when they want me to behave in accordance with those beliefs, whether i share them or not and 2) when they assert that only through belief in god can you have any sort of moral code - that only believers can be good, or kind.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  5. Libra Lisa

    Funny, as I was asking a couple of my co-workers if they had read the piece on how the person who live to be 150 years old was already born.

    They had not, but, my 'Christian' co-worker had to 'educate' me about how the bible said that God stated that humans will only live to be 150 years old, because Moses was 200 and God said we humans can only live for 150 years...

    HUH? Really!!?? This was not the response I was seeking of course. But, it shows how religion gets into the cracks of these people. It messes with their thinking. My co-worker knows I think her 'beliefs' are right up there with The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and she could see by face that I was a bit perplexed by her response.

    Sorry, Bill is dead on. Religion has done not one lick of good, and history proves this. And today we still see so many delusional people hanging on to it. "I was raised on it, I know it's true!!" Yeah.......

    All of the good that comes out of religion will never out weigh the bad. The scales are so tipped in that way. Besides, most ":Christians' are nothing of the sort, and most people who say they believe do so as a just incase...IF there is a God, then they figure they are covered...I never said I didn't believe , I just questioned it....ooohhhh....now I get it.

    We get one go around folks. Just one, and wasting it on being a good girl because God said so is nuts. Or living my life so that I get a spot potencially is even more nuts. I'm a good person becuase I just am, not becasue of God.

    July 12, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Geoz

      Can I get an amen to that. Nicely said.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The Bible says that people used to live for nigh on a thousand years!
      According to the fable, Noah was 500 years old when he and his immediate family repopulated the entire human race! (and never had any inbreeding issues with either themselves or any of the animals)

      July 12, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Bob R

      Amen!
      And I'm no Bill Maher fan either.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  6. Pier Giacalone

    And so it begins, the great softening of Bill Maher's common sense. We've already established that no person on Earth knows what happens when you die, but for some reason we have to entertain the absurdity that like a lottery, maybe, the particular fantasy that was custom-made (by man) to fend off our fear of mortality somehow MIGHT be true?

    Man-up Bill and just say it like it is, we don't know what is, but we sure as hell know what isn't. And the apathy is just stupid. You have been railing in public against God for years and for a good reason. Don't wimp out now.

    July 12, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Libra Lisa

      Bravo....well said. I agree totally.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      He's a comedian. Don't think any of his words are used carelessly.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  7. Sock-Ra-Tease

    I’m appalled at the bogus show of learning displayed by theists like Guest who said, and I quote: To say "God does not exist" IS a very strong truthclaim – just as much as saying "God exists". End quote.

    A claim remains ONLY a claim until it is justified by logical proof and material evidence. It doesn’t matter how long the claim has been made or how many people believe it to be true. Only one thing matters; has the claim been justified?

    In the case of the claims made on behalf of the ten thousand or so gods currently being worshiped on Earth today and the 38,000 Christian denominations asserting the existence of Yahweh, the answer is a resounding NO.

    Without such justification there is nothing risky or irrational about believing and saying, “There are no gods”. Because that is what the evidence shows. All theistic claims have failed the test of logical proof and material evidence; that’s why belief in a god is called “Faith”.

    Continued dependence on “Faith” is predicated on one thing; lack of compelling evidence. The lack of evidence of gods after thousands of years of intellectual searching is compelling evidence of the absence of such evidence. The burden of proof is on the original claimant. Without justified knowledge there is only unsupported belief.

    Truth is conformity with fact or actuality. Yet the deceitful claims about the authenticity and reliability of the Bible show how the truth claims made for the Bible are intended to conceal and deny the thousands of mistakes, errors, contradictions and outright forgeries contained in the Bible.

    These mistakes, errors, contradictions and outright forgeries are taught to the ministry and missionary students in seminaries and schools of Divinity of the mainstream denominations using the Historical/Critical method of Bible Study.
    When these students arrive at their church and missionary fields they quickly revert to the Devotional method of Bible Study to conceal the problems of Biblical authenticity from their church members. In doing so, these newly minted ministers and missionaries deceive their congregations when they fail to share this information with them and when answering their questions about the Bible with “safe” answers they know to be false. Thomas Payne said, “It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry. The effort of Christians and other theists to lie their way to the truth is a failure.

    July 12, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Completly logical

      Just remember Christians wont read posts longer than six lines unless they have chapter and line references at the end.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • Colin

      Very articulate and well put – and spot on and correct.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • John

      According to your argument North America and x-rays did not exist because there was no evidence ptoving their existence... until they were discovered. Religion is a matter of faith – – while we may lack concrete proof of God's existence, we similarly lack any concrete proof otherwise.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "A claim remains ONLY a claim until it is justified by logical proof and material evidence. It doesn’t matter how long the claim has been made or how many people believe it to be true. Only one thing matters; has the claim been justified?"

      ~Agreed. No matter how long atheists say there is no God...merely saying it doesn't make it truth or justified. Now if an atheist does not believe in God, they must believe the idea of God was created. To justify such a thought..evidence such as knowing who created the concept, when, where and why would need to be shown with evidence.

      "In the case of the claims made on behalf of the ten thousand or so gods currently being worshiped on Earth today and the 38,000 Christian denominations asserting the existence of Yahweh, the answer is a resounding NO."

      Yes....no that the existence has not been proven based on the limitations of science.

      "Without such justification there is nothing risky or irrational about believing and saying, “There are no gods”. Because that is what the evidence shows. All theistic claims have failed the test of logical proof and material evidence; that’s why belief in a god is called “Faith”. "

      No...there is no evidence that there is no God. Unless you feel you can prove a negative. Also, merely failing the tests of science does not mean a thing does not exist.

      "Continued dependence on “Faith” is predicated on one thing; lack of compelling evidence. The lack of evidence of gods after thousands of years of intellectual searching is compelling evidence of the absence of such evidence. The burden of proof is on the original claimant. Without justified knowledge there is only unsupported belief."

      No one is saying that one should live by faith alone. That is a fallacy.
      The burden of proof lies with many. The one who believes in God and says they can prove God...should show it. An atheist that says there is no God should be able to put up evidence that shows God was an invention of man.

      "Truth is conformity with fact or actuality. Yet the deceitful claims about the authenticity and reliability of the Bible show how the truth claims made for the Bible are intended to conceal and deny the thousands of mistakes, errors, contradictions and outright forgeries contained in the Bible."

      You are making the error to think that all Christians or Jews believe in a literalist view of the Torah or Bible. Not all believers do so that point is invalid.

      "These mistakes, errors, contradictions and outright forgeries are taught to the ministry and missionary students in seminaries and schools of Divinity of the mainstream denominations using the Historical/Critical method of Bible Study.
      When these students arrive at their church and missionary fields they quickly revert to the Devotional method of Bible Study to conceal the problems of Biblical authenticity from their church members. In doing so, these newly minted ministers and missionaries deceive their congregations when they fail to share this information with them and when answering their questions about the Bible with “safe” answers they know to be false. Thomas Payne said, “It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry. The effort of Christians and other theists to lie their way to the truth is a failure."

      Again....you are making the as.sumption that all Christians fall into a literalist point of view. You are in error. A Christian, like anyone after a discipline, should study their faith and cross reference it with history, logic, theology, science and all other studies. To think that ppl of the faith only believe and study one thing would be stupid.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Demuth- "Just remember Christians wont read posts longer than six lines unless they have chapter and line references at the end."

      Quit being ignorant.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Scott

      You touched on the key factor to christianity "faith". No one on this thread is intelligent enough to prove or disprove the existence of God, although most of us are convinced that we are from the sound of it.

      It is very easy to take the popular side on this debate, but remember that the folks on your side may or may not be correct (50% chance). So, in my opinion it is irrational to deny Gods existence without first examining his word, which aside from creation itself is the only evidence that God exists.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • helloeyes

      and Lycidas why can'tyou what they need to say in a few sentences. Brevity people please – this is not a blog.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      "Now if an atheist does not believe in God, they must believe the idea of God was created." You know, I don't believe in God, or His Daddy. I don't believe in God's Grampaw and Granny, either. So, according to this scripture of yours, I am now compelled to believe not in them but in the IDEA of God's Grampaw and Granny. Man, I hate to tell you: either you said that wrong or it's bunk, because I still don't believe in God or His extended family.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  8. Jim Bob

    Who the F$%* cares what Bill Maher thinks about anything, the guy is a borderline nutcase.

    July 12, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • 7od

      people who clicked on the link to this video. did you?

      July 12, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • John

      Couldn't have replied any better! 🙂

      July 12, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  9. the real john

    maher is such a typical, condescending, arrogant person who thinks because he speaks well and is educated he has wisdom. its a shame really because he could be a leader but he has the wisdom of a child. puffed up with pride and lost in the weeds. One day bill will go "oh, really?"

    July 12, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • J

      Wow, that sounds pretty backwards to me... you don't seem to realize where he's coming from. It's usually a CHILD that buys into religion.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • William Demuth

      So the pooprly spoken and uneducated should have the podium?

      Why do Chritians seem to dislike intelligence? Dosen't that break the commandment about coveting thy neighbors goods?

      July 12, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • doug

      You do realize that even he would tell you that he's really just a comedian, right?

      July 12, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  10. Michael Knight

    I wish people would stop calling Christianity a religion. The idea of Christianity DID NOT originate with humans; the originator of Christianity is God Almighty. Christianity is Union with God; it's not a religion. Again, Christianity started when God the Father sent his son, Jesus to earth...........One of the reasons Bill Maher can't find God is that he is tryng to find God his own way. According to Bill's mentality, if God doesn't appear to people in a such a way as to make it easier for others to believe, then it's not possible to know that he exist._____Bill, You would have to have omniscience; You would have to be all-knowing in order to make such a claim-'There is NOOOO God'.....Pray Bill__Do a lot of praying.

    July 12, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • J

      @Michael Knight Yo.. Knight Rider.. What do you tell people of other faiths and religions? You sound pretty 'all-knowing' that your beliefs are the one and only...

      July 12, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Christianity is a cult of con artists, led by a cabal of priests who bugger little boys.

      It is an abomination against modernity, and it soon shall fade like all the other silly religions from the past.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • Laughing

      Yeah who needs stupid definitions anyway when you got god right? I mean why does everyone say I'm a human! Clearly god sent jesus down to earth to show everyone that he's awesome, so please just call me a christian instead. Thanks!

      July 12, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Andy

      Michael, you obviously didn't listen to the interview, but bravo in the numerous fallacies you've just put out.

      Bill even says he knows that there is a slight chance that its "God" of the bible, and you cannot rule it out 100%. So before blabbering, listen to the video.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • Mattski

      That's what all believers says about their religion. History books are filled with civilizations who believed their God was the real God. But in the end, they all seem to originate from the people themselves.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Geoz

      Your word twisting of religion vs. god is pathetic. Keep your faith, but don't pretend to use logic. It does not become you nor your god.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Don H.

      Christianity as well as ALL of the world's other religions,are utter and total mythological & medieval B.S. – and systematic and generational mind control for the masses. Period. Singularly and collectively they are responsible for 90-95% of ALL the word's and humanity's suffering throughout the ages; and by their inherent nature sew the seeds of prejudice and divisiveness – precisely the exact things they are supposed to counter act. Divine hypocrisy at every level.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • nick

      Then what do you call the religion that is not called christianity? Isn't that a really weird point to argue? I think you sound extremely hypocritical here. I agree with J's comment.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • helloeyes

      It sounds like you push Christianity to universal heights so that no man can touch it..... does that make it believable?? Certainly not. Jesus was a narcissistic megalomaniac hell-bent on creating a band of followers. Would you believe anyone in this day and age who tried to pull the same thing? This is 2011 and we are aware of mental illness. Those were the dark ages when people really didn't know about those things.. and along comes a charismatic person with a completely different way to manipulate people. Doesn't make it holy – doesn't make it right.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • EZRA

      Wow, this guys been talking to the dash-board of his Trans Am too long.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      William, too harsh. When I think you've gone too far, you've probably gone WAY too far. Don't make me bring out the Clown Hammer®.

      July 13, 2011 at 9:40 am |
  11. mr wish

    Who prepared pier for this interview. If they watch Bill's movie Religulous or his HBO realtime even once they would not have handed the host those question. It made Pier look amateurish, where is Larry King away, time for a Leno move.

    July 12, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • 7od

      i don't watch bill maher, but i knew more about him then piers did.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  12. Ran_D

    Imagine if the forbidden fruit were never tasted, and death never entered the world from that original sin. How would life on earth be if Adam and Eve lived Forever, and could procreate, and their offspring lived for ever, and the procreated, and no one ever tasted the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil ... how much time needs to pass before the earth is flooded with a population that needs to Eat Food, yet can never die.

    Either God has a great sense of humor, and or is Merciful beyond imagination, all wise, Knowing the necessity of death for there to be life. Placing the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the midst of the garden, knowing its temptation would be certain, to the purpose of bringing death into the world ...otherwise a world without death would become Hell itself in very short order, more macabre than a Hieronymus Bosch painting.

    July 12, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • 7od

      yeah... OR that never happened, and is just an ancient myth. occams razor.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • Ice9

      I believe the evidence is pretty clear that God has a supreme sense of humor.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  13. nunyabuznez

    A conundrum.
    You believe in one God. He is is all powerful and the creator of the universe. There is no God more powerful than your God.
    You have inherited a religion for expressing your belief by all those preceding you. There are others who also believe in one God but follow different religions. You express your love and devotion to your God by proclaiming He is the only and true God to the point of denigrating, harassing and even killing anyone who disagrees with your views.
    Most religions espouse that at the end of time God will send the Messiah to lead His people to salvation.
    That time has come. You meet the Messiah and … Oops; He is not sent by your God.

    July 12, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • helloeyes

      LOL too funny... and too true.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • EZRA

      Quit. Blame your misguided parents!

      July 12, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • EZRA

      oops. I meant "Quick" not "Quit"

      July 12, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      St. Teilhard du Chardin theorized that even if there is no god, humanity will eventually learn to control all power in the universe, harnessing the Big Bang to drive machines that transcend time and space, and that we will return to the first instant and become God ourselves. He makes a good point, given millions of years we could do anything and probably will.

      July 13, 2011 at 9:45 am |
  14. Carl, Secaucus, NJ

    Religions are all human phenomena–by which I mean, God doesn't go attend meetings at a church or temple or mosque. I think religions tell you more about the people who practice them than they do about God.

    July 12, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  15. Steve

    Maher used to be funny and witty, now he is just overbearing and obnoxious. For someone who "seldom thinks about religion" he does not seem to be able to talk about much of anything else, except how stupid Republicans are and how brilliant everyone else is. I think people who are sure there is a God and people who are sure there isn't one are equally self absorbed, but an open to be proving wrong by either side. So far that has not happened.

    July 12, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • twiddly

      Hey Steve, do you still believe in santa claus?
      Why not? Are you that self-absorbed?
      You made absolutely no sense at all, which is to say you make as much sense as religion (or, santa claus).
      The only reason people believe in religion is because they were brainwashed as children and are still caught up in the "cult", which is what organized religion really is.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • Eric

      Maher thinks about religion all the time and talks about it all the time. But he doesn't stress out and worry about heaven and hell and what happens when you die. That's what he was saying. If you want to see what happens when you die, go and look at dead things.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • helloeyes

      So you're saying that there is nobody in the world who is neutral on the subject. I would beg to differ. There are millions of people who are just dissinterested. We don't all have to be categorizes into spiritual, no-spiritual, religious, non-religious, agnostic, atheist. Some people just don't entertain the subject at all. My Dad was one of them.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  16. MacRoViddy

    Maher is like an argumentative college kid that never grew up.

    July 12, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • helloeyes

      He came into my restaurant one and I didn't know who he was. His friend almost reamed me a new one but Bill stopped him. I thought that was interesting. I would have called security and had them all hauled away and they could have starved for all I cared. BUT they were nice to the waitstaff, were mellow, and tipped well.

      July 12, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  17. Griff

    It's good to be an Athiest when everything is going well. But I have seen too many times how fast an Athiest can become a Christian when they are told they are termnally ill, in a war zone with bulletts flying overhead, or ask you to pray when their loved ones are ill. Athiest made death-bed confessions famous. I made my decision for Christ a long time ago. I am not gambling with my eternal future by thinking I'll get an opportunity to make my confession on my death bed. This is a personal thing to me. "As for ME and MY house, we will serve the Lord."

    July 12, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • William Demuth

      It is also amazing how often married Christian woman admit they don't believe a darn bit of it, once they are laying in my bed.

      July 12, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • AM

      that's great. keep it to yourself.

      July 12, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • helloeyes

      ... and so your argument just goes to prove how people – when pushed to the brink of grief and trauma – will become unreasonable thinkers. This is more of a testament to our inability to find effective coping mechanisms in traumatic situations – but whatever helps, helps.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Lettuce Prey

      Griff, what if the Muslims are right? What if Allah is the one true god? What if the Jews are right? What about the Sikhs, the Hindis, the Buddhists? Every believer is absolutely positive that their faith is the only true faith. If you can explain why you don't believe in someone else's religion, perhaps then you will understand why I don't believe in them, either. Nor yours.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Jennifer

      That's how they get you: they literally put the fear of God in you, threatening you with eternal damnation if you don't believe or comply, or whatever their demands are.

      "I am not gambling with my eternal future by thinking I'll get an opportunity to make my confession on my death bed."

      If you weren't afraid, would you and your house still "serve the Lord"?

      July 12, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • William Demuth

      So Griff

      What if your kids or you woman tell you your God is a lie?

      "Your House" sounds like biblical double speak for "the people I wont let think for themselves"

      Standard Christian bul##hit.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Jon King

      Yeah and funny how Christians pick and choose when they practice their religions.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • jack

      such garbage. That whole notion of 'no atheists in a foxhole' is a rhetorical straw man. Don't be dumb.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • helloeyes

      I agree with Jennifer and William – it certainly sounds like this one's faith is fear-based.. and THAT, my friends, is one of the most significant issues with religion. Religion and religious doctrine does not encourage critical thinking. I have a big problem with that. We were given a brain for a reason – going blindly by what someone else tells us to do is very disempowering.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Ron

      This is just another version of that tired old "there are no atheists in foxholes" myth, invented and spread by believers who are uneasy that others don't believe as they do. I have known manyf atheists/agnostics/freethinkers, and I have never known one who relapsed into religion when hit by hard times, or tragedy, or whatever. Those I've known have long since come the the realization that this life is it and they don't expect an imaginary cloudscape where robed harp players sit around singing hallelujahs to some old bearded dude on a throne for all eternity. God, but that would be boring.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • EZRA

      "I made my decision for Christ a long time ago. I am not gambling with my eternal future by thinking I'll get an opportunity to make my confession on my death bed"
      ----------
      nice move, covering your bets like that.very pragmatic of you.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      I had a near-death experience months ago, and three days afterwards I suddenly thought "Oh, wasn't I supposed to have a crisis and wonder about my soul?" It never even crossed my mind.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:01 am |
  18. Reddawg0369

    Religion is born out of lack of education. I grew up in the heart of the South, and most every religious person I knew growing up was a product of a weak education system and poor economic upbringing. Couple that with basic brain washing by a pastor two to three times a week and you will get someone that not only defends these fantasies, but is told that when they do, that they will be rewarded in the next life... Sounds allot like Islam huh? I once asked my pastor (as a young boy) "If God created the world in six days, when did he creat Dinasours?" His answer... "The Bible doesn't specify how long it took for God to create man... I believe the Dinasours roamed the earth in a period of darkness prior to God creating the rest of all of this." What a scam, Here I am as a young man thinking that my school teachers were full of crap and all this guy cared about was keeping his flock close so that he could maintain control over us and create brain washed children to beat the drum into the next generation. Religion is the worse thing that happened to God!

    July 12, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • AM

      Amen!

      July 12, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • Luis Vazquez

      Try reading the bible and forget what a MAN says, see what God has to say to you directly try reading the book of John in the NT.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • helloeyes

      I was kickedut of Sunday school when I was a kid for asking too many questions. Obviously logic has no place in the religious system.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • J

      @Luis Vazquez You mean the book written by MEN??

      July 12, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • the real john

      i read the "i was kicked out of sun school for asking questions" thing a lot. Some athiest said it once and it becomes a motto.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • Colin

      Reddawg – Congratulations on emerging from the dark superst.itions that haunt the weaker minds. It is now up to you to help us help as many other delusional Christians as possible see the light.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • the real john

      "Religion is born out of lack of education".. uh, religion was born before during and after education. Some of the most intelligent scientists and doctors in the world are religious. how sad you are so angry. talk about blind denial.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • helloeyes

      John, Frankly I was not aware that so many others had this experience when they were little. I would hardly call it a motto – it speaks of much more than a motto – but thanks for the downplaying.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • Ice9

      @Luis Vazquez – I don't have it memorized, but I'm pretty sure that book doesn't mention anything about dinosaurs.

      We would have heard about it.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Scott

      So, all of the billions of christians throughout history are uneducated? cmon dude..not possible

      July 12, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  19. William Demuth

    Would a man sounding the alarm over the Nazi party in 1938 be considered a closeted Nazi?

    Bill Maher isn't angry, he is actually afraid of religion. Bill is just a signpost, unwilling to speak the unspeakable in plain speech, but trying to convey his thoughts with humor.

    Just look around at our world and see what the children of Abraham are doing!

    They sit in their bible, torah or quran study classes pouring over ancient absurdities like autistic children trying to play post office. They are being fed lies by men who merely use them to aggrandize themselves. They persecute murder, manipulate and defraud BILLIONS of people based on political propaganda from thousands of years ago, yet cloak themselves in righteous indignation or denial.

    We have people of all three branches of the same diseased tree that have been making war with each other for centuries, and sadly I too fear they are dragging us to the edge.

    July 12, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • JT

      Very eloquent I must say.

      July 12, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Rich

      Well Said indeed!

      July 12, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • helloeyes

      All religions were started by a charismatic, megalomaniacal leader telling people that he had all the answers and the sheeple followed. In this day and age those people would be condemned as lunatics. We need to emerge out of the dark ages and realize that religion has no purpose. People are afraid to think for themselves.. Not much has changed.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  20. edvhou812

    Bill Maher is not apathetic. The dude constantly puts down organized religion, so it seems to me it is on his mind an awful lot.

    July 12, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • J

      I think he said that there was a period in his YOUTH where he wasn't thinking about religion all that much... I'm sure it's all he has to deal with these days given his career... I don't think people listen.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • helloeyes

      He is more than obsessed with the topic and he cannot stand that people still cling to religion – but he is intolerant, sarcastic, and self-absorbed, and taints his arguments with sophistry. He needs to get over himself.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • the real john

      maher is one angry dude. i think if there were ever to be an athiest crusade against christianity hed be on the head horse with a sword held high.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      I haven't watched him enough for pattern recognition, but he seems to go after whatever's topical that week. Haven't noticed him making a special target of religion.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      John, he's a comedian. Not exactly an 'angry' guy. Saying he'd lead a crusade on horseback to kill Christians is a vile thing to say. You must be a really evil person. I bet you'd lead a pagan army to kill women and children kick a puppy.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.